Relationship of NATO and the new US administration have worsened

The administration of Donald #Trump seems to be drawn into a conflict with his closest allies. Reuters, referring to its sources, says that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will miss the summit of #NATO foreign ministers, which will be held April 5-6 in Brussels. Instead, his deputy for political affairs Tom Shannon will go there. The absence at the event of such a head of the US foreign policy department is already a scandal in itself. A double-scandalous situation is that for Tillerson this summit will be the first since its appointment. Actually, the summit itself was to become a kind of summit-acquaintance of the leaders of European diplomacy with the new head of the US foreign policy department.

But in general, in a demonstrative gesture of neglect by traditional allies, Tillerson’s actions make the reason why he does not visit Brussels. It turns out that he is required to pass the summit in order to take part in the Trump meeting with Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, which will be held April 6-7 at the Mar-a-Lago Manor in Florida. And, according to the same Reuters, with reference to its sources, the next foreign policy route of Tillerson will be a visit to Moscow on April 12.

Well, the preference of #China and #Russia to #Europe and NATO looks quite consistent with the foreign policy views of Donald Trump. China, from its point of view, is the main geopolitical and economic rival of the United States, the relations with which should become a priority for the country. Moscow is not only an ally in the fight against terrorism, but also, apparently, an element in the system of checks and balances to Chinese influence in the world that Trump intends to build. It is no coincidence that the first time in the history of Russian-American relations, the post of US Ambassador to Russia was offered to a specialist in China, John Huntsman.

But Trump’s traditional European allies have more claims than interest. His closest adviser, economist Peter Navarro, largely shaping the foreign policy views of the American president, puts Germany on the list of countries whose relations are to be revised, after a comma after China and Mexico. In his interview with Financial Times, he unequivocally assigned the Germans responsibility for expanding the trade deficit with the United States. The situation when Germany sells the United States more goods than it buys, Navarro called unacceptable.

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It is not surprising that German Chancellor Angela #Merkel and Trump held negotiations on March 17, according to most analysts, rather complicated.

The very next day Trump wrote on his Twitter and mentioned NATO: “Despite what you heard from the” fake “media, I had wonderful talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, Germany owes a lot of money to NATO and the United States and must pay more for the powerful and extremely expensive defense system that (the US) provides to Germany. ”

As the acting State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, later explained, it is a question for the European members of the NATO problem – the obligation to keep defense spending at 2% of GDP. Despite numerous declarations, except for the United States, only four of the 28 members of the Alliance adhere to this level: America’s traditional ally Great Britain, standing apart from NATO, Russia concerned about the Russian threat and Poland and two militarily insignificant countries, Greece and Estonia. And the economic locomotive of the united Europe, Germany, on the contrary, does not hasten to depart from the policy of economy on the defense sphere – a policy which, to the annoyance of its Eastern European allies, followed even in 2014 at the height of the crisis around Ukraine.

Of course, it is premature at least to talk about the beginning of a split in NATO. Trump, who is now under fire and is experiencing a difficult time to restore relations with the establishment of his own Republican Party, is unlikely to want to give an additional reason for the attacks due to a quarrel with traditional American allies. The day after Reuters reported, Toner attempted to redress the situation and suggested moving the summit of NATO foreign ministers to a later date in order not to change the schedule of the Secretary of State. And Tillerson immediately hurried with a “curtsey” in the direction of the Alliance. He urged the US Senate to ratify the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO as soon as possible. It must also be the answer of Trump’s administration to those who blame the president for relations with Russia. After all, Moscow, as you know, is not enthusiastic about the prospect of Montenegro joining the Alliance.

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The NATO countries themselves are even more interested in the conflict. Any opposition overseas partner will inevitably become a breakthrough for strength not only for the Alliance itself, but also for a united Europe, where the centrifugal tendencies have already intensified. Therefore, both Trump’s statements, and Tillerson’s actions, European politicians either leave without comment, or comment very cautiously. However, the fact remains that the US-NATO relationship has a crack. Will it expand, will the near future show.

In : Politic

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